FLORIDA POLITICS
Since 2002, daily Florida political news and commentary

 

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Welcome To Florida Politics

Thanks for visiting. On a daily basis we scan Florida's major daily newspapers for significant Florida political news and punditry. We also review the editorial pages and political columnists/pundits for Florida political commentary. The papers we review include: the Miami Herald, Sun-Sentinel, Palm Beach Post, Naples News, Sarasota Herald Tribune, St Pete Times, Tampa Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Tallahassee Democrat, and, occasionally, the Florida Times Union; we also review the political news blogs associated with these newspapers.

For each story, column, article or editorial we deem significant, we post at least the headline and link to the piece; the linked headline always appears in quotes. We quote the headline for two reasons: first, to allow researchers looking for the cited piece to find it (if the link has expired) by searching for the original title/headline via a commercial research service. Second, quotation of the original headline permits readers to appreciate the spin from the original piece, as opposed to our spin.

Not that we don't provide spin; we do, and plenty of it. Our perspective appears in post headlines, the subtitles within the post (in bold), and the excerpts from the linked stories we select to quote; we also occasionally provide other links and commentary about certain stories. While our bias should be immediately apparent to any reader, we nevertheless attempt to link to every article, column or editorial about Florida politics in every major online Florida newspaper.

 

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The Blog for Thursday, June 21, 2012

"Primary is now Connie Mack’s to lose"

    "Lagging behind in money and name ID, George LeMieux calls it quits in Florida’s Republican U.S. Senate race. The primary is now Connie Mack’s to lose." "George LeMieux quits Senate race". Related: "With George LeMieux Out, Connie Mack Tries to Focus on Bill Nelson".


    "A nominee whose defining asset is simply his family's name"

    The Tampa Bay Times editors: "LeMieux's exit after more than a year on the stump — while encouraged by the Republican establishment — may not do Mack any favors."

    The party could be left with a nominee untested on the statewide stage and whose defining asset is simply his family's name.

    So far, Mack has not engaged in much retail campaigning — refusing to participate in Republican forums and primary debates — and as such has yet to have his record and positions vetted and fine-tuned. Political polls have suggested none of that will hurt him in the primary. Mack shares a name with his father, a well-regarded former U.S. senator, and a great-grandfather who was longtime manager of baseball's Philadelphia Athletics. And he has locked up the endorsements of Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney in recent weeks, further unleashing campaign donations from the Republican establishment.

    But winning a primary based on name recognition and a significant war chest short-circuits a key benefit of contested primaries. These sharpen candidates' messages and give them practice on the stump, as both President Barack Obama discovered in 2008 and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Romney did this year.
    "Mack sails through untested".


    Obama, Romney hit Florida

    "The year's first big national showdown over Hispanic voters plays out in Orlando this week, with Gov. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama making their cases to more than 1,000 leaders of the National Association of Latino Elected Officials. " "Obama, Romney in Orlando this week to talk to Hispanic leaders". See also "Obama, Romney stumping in Florida this week".

    Related: "As Obama Heads to Florida, New Round of Political Ads Begins".


    Charter conflicts of interest

    "A Coconut Grove charter school’s tangled relationship with its founder and landlord has created 'structural conflicts of interests' that could threaten the school’s nonprofit status, according to a critical audit by the Miami-Dade School District." "Audit: Coconut Grove charter school has conflicts of interest with founder".


    Laff riot

    "Gov. Rick Scott said Wednesday he is less concerned about his approval ratings than the unemployment mark." "Rick Scott: I Care About Unemployment, Not My Poll Numbers".


    Scott flip flops

    "Scott left no doubt Wednesday that he has backed off a campaign promise to require private employers in Florida to use the federal E-Verify system to determine their employees' immigration status." "Scott shifts on E-Verify".


    Attorneys for Broward County go after lobbyist emails

    "In the latest skirmish in a legal battle about taxes paid by online-travel companies, a Leon County circuit judge heard arguments Wednesday about email exchanges involving a lobbyist for industry giant Expedia. Attorneys for Broward County, alleging in a lawsuit that online-travel companies have not paid enough in hotel taxes, want access to the email exchanges involving lobbyist Jennifer Green." "Lobbyist Emails at Issue in Online Travel Case".


    "For Bob Graham, it was a Jimmy Buffett video"

    "What kinds of things can haunt a potential vice presidential candidate during vetting? For Bob Graham, it was a Jimmy Buffett video." "Florida's Graham a veteran of VP campaign vetting".


    Good luck with that

    "A consultant's study for Georgia transportation officials found that high-speed passenger trains connecting Atlanta with Jacksonville, Fla.; Louisville, Ky; and Birmingham, Ala.; would be economically feasible." "Study: High-speed trains across South are feasible".


    Q Poll: Nelson beats mack, Obama leads Romney

    Quinnipiac this morning:

    U.S. Rep. Connie Mack has an overwhelming lead over the Republican field for Florida's U.S. Senate nomination, while Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson edges him by a nose, 43 - 39 percent, in a November match-up, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.

    A shift by independent voters gives President Barack Obama a 46 - 42 percent lead over Republican Gov. Mitt Romney in the Sunshine State, according to the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll.
    "June 21, 2012 - Mack Leads Florida GOP Senate Pack, But Trails Nelson, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Obama Back On Top In White House Race". See also "Obama regains small lead over Romney in Florida".


    Stoopid is ...

    "Forms asking voters whether they’re citizens are being mailed by a group looking to increase voting among women and minorities." "Mail voter registration drive causes confusion with voters".


    Walmart lined its pockets with deaths of employees

    "When Linda Gaub’s 51-year-old husband died of a heart attack in 1994 she said his employer, Walmart, couldn’t have been more supportive."

    They took up a collection. They brought Christmas presents for the couple’s three young children. They donated plants for a garden at Liberty Park Elementary School, a project that had been her husband’s passion — a way of using his skills as a farmer to help out one of his kid’s school.

    Then, last year, the Lake Worth woman got a letter, alerting her that Walmart benefited richly from her husband’s death. The Arkansas-based discount giant had secretly taken out a life insurance policy on her husband -- as it has with hundreds of thousands of its other employees -- when he worked as a department head in the garden center of its store on Forest Hill Boulevard, her attorneys said. Ronald Gaub’s death, they said, put between $75,000 and $150,000 in its pockets.

    “I was floored,” she said of the news. “Myself and my children were extremely upset that they had profited from his death. It’s deplorable.”

    As if that wasn’t enough, she learned she couldn’t share in the $2 million the company last year agreed to pay to settle claims filed by other Florida residents who were equally shocked to learn that the death of loved ones had lined Walmart’s pockets.
    "Widow sues Walmart, citing secret insurance".


    "Obama walking tightrope"

    "Obama has been tougher on deportations than any modern president — expelling nearly 1.5 million people so far. Many have been criminals, but the effort has also torn apart families and hurt some of the young people Obama now wants to help." "Obama walking tightrope in deportation debate".

    The Tribune Company whines that "the proper way to rebalance immigration policy is for a majority in Congress to agree on the details, and for the president to sign off on it. If that's not working, it's up to reform-minded lawmakers, and the White House, to push harder." "Inaction on immigration doesn't justify overreach".


    Scott asked to show leadership

    "Bob Graham, Florida Conservation Coalition ask Scott for leadership on springs issue".


    State prison consolidation

    "Florida's prison system is winding up an $89 million cost-savings initiative, with the closings of 11 lockups across the state, and beginning a new effort to cut future costs by preparing inmates -- from the day they arrive -- for their return to society." "Massive job shifts, some resignations, mark state's prison consolidation".


    State employees get wage cuts, and now are looking at insurance increases

    "State economists predict that Florida employees’ health insurance trust fund will open a shortfall in 2014 and that if no changes are made the gap will widen to more than $600 million by 2016. That could lead to higher premiums and other changes, one lawmaker said. The state spends about $2 billion a year to provide insurance coverage for more than 100,000 employees. The trust fund is OK for the time being, economists said." "State employees may be asked to pay more for insurance".


    "Tell Scott he can't have it both ways"

    Beth Kassab: "Somebody should tell Gov. Rick Scott he can't have it both ways. He wants Florida's universities to be the best in the nation. And the cheapest. He preaches fiscal prudence. And then tells universities to raid their savings to make up for $300 million in cuts in his latest budget." "Scott can't have it both ways on college tuition"

    Related: "Rick Scott Would Be 'Surprised' if Board OKs Significant Tuition Hikes".

    Meanwhile, the Chamber of Commerce thinks things are grand: "Business group gives high marks to Florida higher education".


    "Tea party activists have hijacked the Republican Party"

    The Miami Herald editorial board: "President Obama didn’t wait for Congress to pass the Dream Act proposal, which has long received bipartisan support but has been blocked by political machinations as tea party activists have hijacked the Republican Party."

    It’s a shame that such a common-sense proposal — to legalize the status of young adults who were brought to this country by their parents when they were children and who often don’t even know that they are undocumented — has not been embraced by Congress. It’s a shame, too, that the president waited until just a few months before the presidential election to act. Clearly, there are political motivations on both sides of the aisle.

    Nevertheless, for the 800,000 or so young adults under age 30 who likely will qualify to stay, study and work in this country through the president’s executive order (though without an automatic road to citizenship at this point), Mr. Obama’s action means they can finally move forward with their lives — and in this nation’s best interests.
    "In our national interest".


    Miami-Dade State Attorney candidates debate

    "Katherine Fernandez Rundle and Rod Vereen debated public corruption cases, juvenile arrests and support of police agencies." "Miami-Dade State Attorney candidates spar in informal debate".


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